SC unemployment lowest in 5 years; NC rate drops too - FOX Carolina 21

SC unemployment lowest in 5 years; NC rate drops too

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

South Carolina's unemployment has fallen to the state's lowest rate in five years.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate last month was 7.5 percent in October. Officials said that was the lowest mark for South Carolina since September 2008, when unemployment was 7.3 percent.

The agency also said that last month's 7.5 percent figure was the closest that South Carolina's jobless rate had been to the national rate since September 2002. In October, national unemployment was estimated at 7.3 percent, up slightly from September's rate of 7.2 percent.

The state's largest gains came in the manufacturing, construction and education and health services sectors, with a combined growth of 6,200 jobs.

North Carolina's unemployment rate is continuing a slow improvement, falling in September to 8.3 percent and dropping again to 8.0 percent in October.

The state Commerce Department on Friday reported the unemployment rates for both months after delays related to the federal government shutdown.

North Carolina's jobs picture remained worse than the nation's jobless rate, which was 7.3 percent in October.

The state and the country have seen unemployment rates fall through most of this year and the North Carolina rate is more than a percentage point lower than the 9.4 percent recorded a year ago. The trend has come in large part because many people stopped looking for a job.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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